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Ukraine 51, Russia 42, Crimea 21, Jim 21, U.n. 15, U.s. 15, Georgia 11, Nato 9, Us 9, Vladimir Putin 7, Moscow 6, United States 6, David Gergen 5, Syria 4, Cnn 4, Eastern Ukraine 4, Kiev 3, Adam Schiff 2, Richard Roth 2, Cheesesteak Shuffle 2,
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  CNN    CNN Newsroom    Latest on the day's top news stories with a  
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    March 1, 2014
    2:00 - 3:01pm PST  

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got the jump a little bit on the white house here in terms of what the contents of that call were. and it does seem that vladimir putin and president obama have a disagreement here as to who is responsible for the unrest, the uncertainty in ukraine. vladimir putin according to a statement coming out of the kremlin says that this is due to ultranationalists in ukraine. so we're waiting to see exactly what the white house has to say about this phone call and what the president expressed. one thing we should also point out is that the deputy national security adviser over here at the white house, ben rhodes, who serves under susan rice, tweeted out just a few moments ago that the president was speaking to several foreign leaders. so we should expect additional readouts in addition to this readout on the phone call between president obama and president putin. it seems that the president was on the phones quite a bit today. that might explain why he was not involved in that national security meeting which took place earlier today as we've been reporting all afternoon, jim. you saw the pictures coming out of the white house.
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defense secretary chuck hagel, cia director john brennan, talking about the situation in ukraine and discussing policy options. i should note, jim, that just outside the gates of the white house at this very moment there is a protest going on. some ukranians have gathered outside the north fence to talk about what they would like to see happen. they would like to see the u.s. get more involved. but as the hours go on, jim, i think we're going to get a clearer indication as to how this phone call went down between these two leaders. as you mentioned, they did speak a week ago friday. and you heard the president in the briefing room yesterday issuing that warning to vladimir putin that there would be costs if russia intervenes in ukraine. >> want to point out, jim, while those folks were meeting there in the white house for an emergency session in effect to discuss ukraine those pictures we just saw might explain that the president was on the phone with several world leaders including we now know president putin. also as you say, them drawing out their battle lines here. both in effect accusing the
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other of violating ukraine's sovereignty. we have fred pleitgen in russia for reaction to this. i know it's middle of the night, fred. but how closely is russian media watching not only the situation in crimea but also high level contacts between putin and president obama? >> reporter: well, they're watching it very closely. today was a very important day for that as well. you didn't only have the decision by the state duma to grant vladimir putin the right to use russian forces inside of ukraine but you also of course had the duma requesting him to recall the ambassador from the u.s. so at this point in time of course this phone call is the main topic on russian media as well. and the kremlin did put out a statement as jim acosta just said. i want to read just a little bit of it. he said putin also stressed the presence of real dangers to the lives and the health of russians who are currently present on ukranian territory. putin stressed that in case of further spreading of the
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violence on the eastern regions of ukraine and crimea, russia reserves the right to defend its interests and the russian people -- the russian-speaking people who live there. so clearly they continue this narrative where they're saying they have the right to deploy their troops there. they've been granted the right to deploy their troops there. however they say they haven't done that yet. clearly of course the picture that we're seeing on the ground is a very different one. but i think it's very, very key that the russians keep stating the fact that they believe that russian interests and the russian people there are under real threat. because i can tell you from having been in the east of ukraine and also in the crimea region, those are real fears that the russians there have. the things that they've seen since yanukovych was ousted from office was there have been motions to tear down lenin statues in many cities, including harkov, other cities as well. there's been that motion to repeal the law granting special rights to the russian language. so they are feeling that. and they're also seeing the
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pro-european statements a lot of the new politicians are making. a lot of them are not feeling very good being inside ukraine and they are looking to russia for some sort of support. so putin is definitely in somewhat of a bind. he does have to show that he's very very strong on this issue without letting this issue get out of control. that's why this phone call tonight was very, very important between him and the president, jim. >> and that's right you get what is essentially the russian counter argument here. the u.s., europe saying that you're causing instability there. russia saying hey, we have a safety problem. we've been asked in by our friends in crimea in effect to re-establish safety. that's their argument. and in fact the justification for military intervention. we were watching just a few minutes ago the u.n. security council wrapping up a meeting to discuss what is happening on the ground in ukraine. we have our own richard roth who is at the u.n. for us today. richard, what can you tell us now as that u.n. security council emergency meeting has broken up? >> reporter: as we've seen before, this is sort of the
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post-fight analysis. you might say the spin room. the ukranian ambassador is now addressing the press corps here at the u.n. to give him interpretation of what happened in the chamber. i think he said the russian ambassador churkin was cold-hearted in his remarks regarding the situation. we may likely see other ambassadors to follow him. the security council of course has this dilemma. look, some aspects of successful crisis solving over the decades have been diplomacy backed by the threat of force. but there's no appetite for that. and it doesn't appear there's going to be any ooh type of military showdown. they can only hope here diplomatically to work out some type of new arrangement as you mentioned with your other guest regarding a unity government or some type of monitors that are there. the u.n. would be the seal of approval, the good housekeeping global seal of diplomatic approval when they get to that stage, if they get there. but right now i think diplomats higher than the ambassador pay grade will be solving this.
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certainly as you mentioned, president obama speaking with president putin would be the indication of where things may be going in the next few days. the security council's upset, but they're not going to authorize any outlandish activity just yet with russia lying in wait. >> one of the most alarming things we heard from the ukranian ambassador, he now says there are 15,000 russian troops inside crimea. this is a significant jump from the best numbers we heard yesterday. how much confidence does he have in that figure? what else are ukranian officials there saying? >> reporter: i think that was his spokesman, unless people have heard him say it just now or elsewhere. there's been no confirmation of how they know this 15,000. this is a frequent occurrence that an aggrieved country starts putting out a lot of statistics which may be true or eventually true trying to get attention here and to describe the dilemma. we have not heard that. the u.n. has not announced that. certainly the deputy secretary general didn't confirm that. but here going to have a variety of options theynsid.
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but it's going to be the players on the ground, the european union, the heavyweights, to step in what do they want to do. if russia starts pouring in more forces, they'll probably move to condemn that and russia would just veto the operation. >> richard, you've been at the u.n. a long time. how long would it take to generate an international mediation mission, one, to ukraine but also international monitors which the ukranian ambassador requested? >> well, you'd have to have the approval of all the sides. the u.n. as an envoy who was dealing with the middle east. now that he has solved that problem, robert siri, secretary general has him doing ukraine. but he's going to meet the secretary general in geneva. you might have an envoy who goes in to talk to all the parties and you try to set up some type of mediation. to allow monitors to come in. but russia and other -- if they don't agree the u.n. would never want to put monitors in harm's way. we saw what happened in syria last year in the early days.
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might even have been two years ago when they had to withdraw due to shelling and activity. the u.n. is used to this, but it's never easy. >> thanks very much, richard roth for us there the a the u.n. i want to bring back frederik pleitgen in moscow for us now. apologies, we don't have fred. we'll get him back after this break. but up next i can tell you we will take you to crimea as well. that's the region right in the middle of this whole crisis as well as getting an update from our own correspondent on the ground in moscow. police stay with us. we'll be right back after this. hey guys! sorry we're late.
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ask your doctor about axiron. [poof!] [beep] [clicks mouse] nice office. how you doing? good. automatic discounts the moment you sign up. this our breaking news on cnn at this hour. military action overseas. russian troops reportedly crossing the border they share with ukraine and in large numbers. it's that reasonable called crimea. most of the people there are
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ethnic russian. they speak russian. and moscow says they need and have asked for their military protection. ukraine's leaders have a very different view. they say russia is playing with the possibility of war. that's what i want to talk to cnn's own diane magnay about. diana is in the main city of crimea. diana, you've heard there are accusations going back and forth about who's under threat there. the russians say that ethnic russians in eastern ukraine are calling for their help, that they are under threat. of course ukranian officials are saying they've had a severe violation of their sovereignty, that the russians are creating instability there. what are you seeing on the ground? are you seeing any proof, any evidence that in fact the ethnic russians in the eastern part of that country are under threat as russian officials say? >> reporter: no. this seems to be more a fear of theirs than any kind of fact. you speak to a lot of people, and they say we do not want radicals and extremists as they define them to come on the trains from kiev and to disrupt
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and spread what happened to this region. we heard reports last night which were also brought up by the russian ambassador to the u.n. just now that there was an attack at the interior ministry here in this city overnight by these so-called ukranian ultramarb ultranationals who have come here to cement trouble. we found no evidence of that. we tried to dig in a little bit more into what had happened and we couldn't find any evidence that anything had happened at the interior ministry last night. so there's a lot of fact and fiction that is flying around here. also we heard from the u.s. ambassador to the u.n. an accusation against russia that they were fomenting the crowds and fomenting people to come out and protest. now, on the streets of this city all day today there were pro-russian groups coming out to chant russian chants, to say russia, crimea, sebastapol. they did not look as though they were forced to come out. these were the ethnic russians
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who i think felt galvanized by this kind of show of force by these unknown gunmen that we have seen on the streets of the city. they almost feel as if these men have their back and that their position is fortified and strengthened ahead of a referendum at the end of this month. so it is a nuanced picture, but it certainly does feel as though this city at the moment is calm. but that's because it's in the hands of gunmen effectively. >> it's interesting. in all those emotions those demonstrations you see one of the dangers that many very experienced hands in that part of the world have been warning about, and that is that once you foment these very real cultural differences and resentments, historical resentments there and you back them up with guns, there's a real danger of this breaking out further and beyond the areas where we've seen so far. one question i have, you mentioned the back and forth and the competing story lines here. but about numbers. you have the spokesperson for the ukranian ambassador to the
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u.n. speaking about a figure of 15,000 russian troops now inside ukraine, including crimea. yesterday we saw some pictures of russian helicopters flying over. those were on youtube. we saw some pictures of some tanks, a handful of tanks. have you seen anything, any evidence to support a figure that high, 15,000 russian troops? >> reporter: no. and i think we have to be very careful with all of this. even those tanks, we're not entirely sure that they are russian. there are significant numbers of unidentifiable gunmen on the streets of the capitals here. they are not wearing any kind of military insignia. but they number in the hundreds as far as i've seen. of course, i haven't been down to the naval base of sebastapol. i don't know if the streets around there are filled with troops also. but it is not as though you have large vehicle movements containing thousands of troops who are patrolling and crawling the streets of this crimean region, no. so 15,000 troops to me would
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seem very, very high. and in fact, an exaggeration. what i will say is that these troops, despite the fact that they're obviously very keen not to have themselves identified, are very well organized, clearly with military backgrounds, highly efficient, highly armed. and i asked one of them today where he was from, and he said he was from russia. probably a mistake. he was a young guy. but that is what he said. >> that's our diana magnay. >> where are you from? >> translator: from russia. >> from where in russia? >> translator: it's not important. >> oh, knock. and when did you come here? >> and there you have it just as you saw there -- >> reporter: there you go. >> and i notice we talked about this before. he's got a magazine in his weapon. you can see the bullets there. this is a scary presence, i would imagine, for some people
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on the streets there. although as you say there are others who are happy to see that presence. they feel that it protects them. >> reporter: well, that was what was surprising today. this is a very ethnically and culturally mixed region. it's not just the ethnic russians who are in the majority. there are also ukraine nationals and then the ethnic tartars. today there was literally no evidence of anyone other than prorussians on the streets. which does make you think that people are very scared who aren't part of that category. and in fact, i was talking to a girl who is an ethnic tartar herself. and when that announcement came from the russian duma that president putin would consider deploying troops she was crying be she was extremely upset, felt this was a very aggressive act, an act of war. she was very scared for her own safety. certainly those prorussian crowds and demonstrations i saw on the streets today don't tell the full picture of how people feel in this part of ukraine.
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>> that's our diana magnay. as you look at all these names of regions and cities, there's ones many americans haven't heard of. this is a country inside europe. those cities just a couple hundred miles from european cities you're familiar with. london, rome, paris. this is not far away. it is right on europe's doorstep. it's a reason why u.s. officials are watching so closely. i want to go now to another city, the capital of ukraine, kiev, where our own ian lee is. ian, i wonder as that announcement came today from moscow as the russian parliament voted unanimously to give russian president vladimir putin the power to send military troops into ukraine and meanwhile we already have evidence that some troops are there already, what is the reaction there? this is you're right there at the location of those protests that took place in the last several weeks. is there nervousness? was there anger to see the russians take this move? >> reporter: definitely something big happening here,
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jim. up until now we've heard only talk of diplomatic gestures by the ukranian government. but after a meeting with the security and defense committee, they came out when the prime minister said that the military was on the highest alert possible, that they are securing their nuclear power plants, the airports, that the morale of the armed forces is high and that if the russians were to invade that they are ready to take them on, and that that would be the red line that the relations between ukraine and russia would be severed for good. really a lot of tough rhetoric coming out of ukraine now, rhetoric that we haven't seen before, jim. >> i saw that the opposition presidential candidate, klichko talked about mobilizing forces. a popular figure there, a leader in those protests that captivated us in kiev for those weeks and months since the end of last year. i'm curious. we know that secretary of state
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john kerry reached out to the ukranian president today. you're having certainly high level contacts with the u.s., talk of a mediation mission, a talk of international monitors. do you think international monitors would be received well there? the capital? >> reporter: i think definitely they would be received well right now. i mean, ukraine has gone out and reached out to the united nations and the european unions to send these monitors. one of the big sticking points for the russians is they say that the ethnic russians in the crimea and other parts are going to be discriminated against, that they will become second-class citizens. and the government here has said that international monitors can observe and make sure that these people aren't being discriminated against. i think that plays very well into the ukranian government if they are allowed to move freely about the country. but you have a lot of difficulty in moving around in the crimea right now. so it would be interesting to see if they would be able to deploy freely throughout the entire country, jim.
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>> thanks very much. that's our ian lee in kiev where those protest that is captivated us took place, and now we have the prospect of russian military intervention. the crisis in ukraine continuing to escalate. how might the u.s. respond? that's right after this. ♪ [ female announcer ] most of the time it's easy to know which option is better. other times, not so much. so it's good to know that mazola corn oil has 4 times more cholesterol blocking plant sterols than olive oil. and a recent study found that it can help lower cholesterol 2 times more. take care of those you love and cook deliciously. mazola makes it better. if it doesn't work fast... you're on to the next thing. clinically proven neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair. it targets fine lines and wrinkles with the fastest retinol formula available.
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continuing our coverage of the crisis in ukraine, we're going to go now to the white house where we have new details of a phone call a short time ago between president obama and russian president vladimir putin. we have our own senior white house correspondent jim acosta at the white house. jim, looking at the details of this this looks like a very firm message from president obama. >> reporter: absolutely, jim. i think one thing that stands out just as you start reading this that this phone call lasted 90 minutes between president obama and vladimir putin. and just to go through this, it says very frankly here the united states condemns russia's military intervention in the ukranian territory. i don't know if we have a full screen prepared just yet. i could read this very next part which makes it quite clear. the united states calls on russia to deescalate tensions by withdrawing its forces back to bases in crimea and to refrain from any interference elsewhere in ukraine. why is that last part important there of that thing we're putting up onscreen, quote.
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elsewhere in ukraine as you know, as you follow all of this, there are great concerns about what is happening in eastern ukraine because the russians have a heavy influence there. there are many ethnic russians in eastern ukraine. and the white house has been peppered with questions all week about what would happen in the event that eastern ukraine were to separate from western ukraine. and the white house of course has said and will continue to say that they believe strongly in a unified ukraine. jim, just to continue to go through this, we could go on and on. i'll let you jump in. the other thing i thought was very interesting and we got some indication of this last night, it goes on to say quite clearly at tend of the statement the united states will suspend preparation and meetings for the g 8 summit to take place in sochi later on in june. as you know, jim, this was going to be another example for vladimir putin to show to the world that he is raising the profile of russia, not only because of the winter olympics but the g 20 summit in st.
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peters burg last summer. and so this is a clear diplomatic warning to vladimir putin that what is happening in crimea right now is not sitting well with this white house, jim. >> no question. and getting to that point, we've been discussing a good deal the last few days, what are the costs of this. the president referred to that yesterday, said that there would be costs. but we didn't know yesterday that the g 8 was in jeopardy, in effect, yet you had that vote today in russia's parliament giving the president the right to send troops in the other thing that drew my attention here was the president pushing back at russia's concerns about the treatment of its ethnic russians in that eastern part of the country you were talking about. and the president said the appropriate way to address them is peacefully through direct engagement with the government and through the dispatch of international observers. in effect saying that well if there is this problem here, don't send troops in. that's only going to make it worse. >> reporter: that's right. and as you know, jim, russia does view this part of the world as part of its sphere of influence. and the white house or the state department we have heard they
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all strenuously object to this. this gets to the limited options that this president has available to him when it comes to dealing with russia and dealing specifically right now with ukraine. nobody is talking about any kind of military action, obviously, although the president will be talking with nato. and there was a national security meeting over here at the white house earlier today where they were reviewing options. when the chairman of the joint chiefs, the director of the cia, the defense secretary all meet at the white house, as presumably while the president is talking to president putin, this is serious. and that they're not only looking at diplomatic octobers, he is essentially tasking his national security team to look at every option, it appears. and we should point out that in addition to his national security team being involved in that meeting, vice president biden was linking in via video conference and so was the secretary of state john kerry. they're all at their stations, either here at the white house or via video. but this statement no question about it, jim, is making it very
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clear, much more clear than the last phone call between president obama and president putin that the president of the united states is becoming deeply deeply concerned about what president putin is doing in ukraine right now. >> no question. 90-minute phone call as you say with a very stern warning and very clear spelling out of some of the consequences of this. thanks very much to our jim acosta at the white house. i'm going to go now, because one of the other costs we've been discussing, lawmakers have been discussing is imposing sanctions on russia. we have california congressman adam schiff joining us now from washington. on the house select committee on intelligence but also involved in many foreign affairs issues in which russia is very much involved. syria, iran, and the situation in the ukraine. congressman schiff, from your perspective, what kind of options does the u.s. have particularly in the category of sanctions that would have real teeth, have a real effect? >> well, there are a range of sanctions. i think we're seeing some of the
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first in the president intimating that we won't participate in a g 8 on russian soil. obviously should encourage our allies the same way. rush why and mr. putin in particular likes standing on the world stage, likes convening things within russia, likes to play that role that we saw during the early part of the chemical weapons agreement in syria. so that's something that could be taken away. his standing in the world can be diminished, is being diminished i think by his own actions. going beyond that, there are economic penalties that can be imposed. they can be imposed by precluding some of the more open trade that russia would like with the united states. we can work with our allies as well on trade sanctions. beyond that, we could impose economic sanctions. try to target some of the people involved and make their travel difficult or impose costs in terms of their access to assets outside of the country. those would be pretty provocative steps. and the challenge, jim, is we do
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need to have some kind of working relationship with russia. and while we can impose these costs and take these steps, we've got to be mindful of the fact that they can impose their own costs on us in these other conflicts that you referenced earlier. >> you mention a tactic there about imposing sanctions on assets, travel, on individuals involved in the decision making which sounds like a small bore measure. but in the past it's had some success with the case of sergei magnitzi, he was a whistle blower just to explain to our viewers in russia who was killed in prison and then the u.s., the senate imposed sanctions, travel, assets, on decisionmakers there. seemed to have something of an effect. how would that work? because senator corker, he put out a statement today mentioning the same possibilities. senator john mccain on our air yesterday bringing up the same possibility. which leaders, which decisionmakers, could the u.s. potentially target? could that go as high as the
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russian president? >> well, it could. that's a very difficult and tough step to take. and obviously would poison our relationship pretty substantially. but just the idea that some of the russian officials may have their travel restricted, some of those that enjoy traveling outside the country that have access to considerable assets they've squirrelled away and want to maintain that access, that alone, the idea that they may not have that availability may have a deterrent impact. these folks can exert a lot of pressure within russia. but again all these steps and more, we could impose real sanctions, real economic and more broad sanctions. those are things that i think should be considered as we go forward, determining -- depending on whether russia in fact continues to violate ukranian sovereignty, whether they bring troops into other parts of the ukraine and how protracted this struggle is. and we have some templates to look at in georgia and elsewhere. we're seeing much of the same
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play book played out now in ukraine. the so-called responding to appeals of ethnic russians outside of the country, that's not only a staple of russian history but a staple of the history of many authoritarian regimes, always claim that they're being invited in by ethnic minorities that are being harassed or improperly treated. we're looking for interference with ukranian communications also something that we saw in georgia. and as russia escalates, if indeed they do escalate, i think we need to escalate the diplomatic pressure and economic pressure that we can bring to bear. >> one thing if i could ask you very quickly before i let you go, the possibility of putting u.s. war ships in or around the bosforus which leads into the black sea where crimea is. during the georgia invasion u.s. ships were sent to that general area. is that something that could be considered? is it too provocative? or would that be something that could be conceived one of these option the president and his
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advisers are considering? >> well, i think we're going to -- i'm sure we are already -- have very detailed discussions with nato about what our response ought to be. whether there ought to be a naval response, whether there ought to be a reposition of troops, repositioning of troops within some of the neighboring countries, the nato members that surround the ukraine. that's not something that putin would like to see. and that in and of itself a revisiting of missile defense. even discussions that would open up these possibilities. maybe renewed interest in ukraine's ultimate membership in nato. there are a number of things that can be explored. just the exploring of which will put some pressure on putin. but you're right. it has to be calibrated. we don't want to do things that would be so over the top that we would provoke putin to do more militarily. but i do think we have to show a strong front. putin respects strength. and the reality as much as we want to work with russia, vis-a-vis syria, iran, et
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cetera, russia will ultimately do what putin decides is in russia's interests. so they're going to want to work with us much as we want to work with them. and i think that gives us some freedom to show strength here and make sure there's a diplomatic and economic cost to any further provocation. >> well, you make a great point there. four nato allies right on that western border of ukraine, romania, slovakia, poland, hungary which we have deep obligations to. thanks to california congressman adam schiff, member of the house select committee on intelligence. president obama has warned russia to stay out of ukraine. but were his words strong enough today? does he need to do more? we'll have david gergen after this break. [ male announcer ] did you know
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it is less than a week since
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the sochi olympics. and russia appears to be positioning to invade ukraine. upon president vladimir putin's request, the russian parliament has approved sending military troops into the crimea region which is heavily prorussian. russian president putin has spoken by phone with president obama whose national security team met today to discuss policy options. and a spokesman for the ukranian mission to the u.n. says there are now 15,000 russian troops inside crimea. ukranian military leaders say they are now at quote the highest state of readiness. all of this again happening today one day after president obama issued a warning to putin to back off from ukraine or face consequences. in the meantime, breaking news in just the past half hour president obama spoke on the phone today with russian president putin for 90 minutes. it's the first time they spoke since russia's parliament green lighted military action in ukraine. obama reportedly raised some major concerns, and the two
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leaders disagreed about who is to blame for the crisis in ukraine. short time ago, the president' national security team met at the white house to execute options. the president did not attend that meeting. let's take a closer look at the president's public warning to russia on friday. >> we are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the russian federation inside of ukraine. russia has a historic relationship with ukraine, including cultural and economic ties and a military facility in crimea. but any violation of ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing. the united states will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in ukraine. >> let's bring in senior political analyst david gergen. now listening to those warnings, yesterday and the readout from this call today with president putin, between president obama and president putin, are these warnings strong enough?
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this is a tougher question, are these warnings working? do they have leverage with moscow? >> reporter: it's been helpful that the president did have this call today, that he toughened up his language, that he condemned outright the russian action. but jim, what's been very notable is there is no sign, no sign that president putin is backing down. earlier calls today by american officials to their counterparts in moscow, similar result. no signs that they're backing down. i'm told that the next 24 to 48 hours would be pretty pivotal to see which way this goes. but i think we have to understand, at this point what we're proposing to do in retaliation, as punitive action against this violation, is pretty small potatoes to putin. after all, cancelling a national diplomatic event versus keeping control over a warm water port with access to the mediterranean, an objective of russian foreign policy for hundreds of years, cancelling one meeting no big deal to him. as opposed to keeping control in
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the crimea. >> i just want to show viewers the location of that port that you're describing there. it's in the crimean peninsula right there on the tip. this is russia's only warm water port in effect and a key national security interest in their view. i wonder now, you've been in a number of these meetings in crisis like this one today. the options that the president's senior national security advisers were discussing in that room, picture yourself in the room. which of those options do you think would be most effective, particularly during these next 24 to 48 hours which as you say a pivotal time? >> reporter: well, so far the signals, jim, are that military action by the united states or any of our partners in western europe is off the table. and so what we're talking about are diplomatic protests but obviously stepping up the the economic sanctions. the russians would be very sensitive to that. and after that there are questions that john mccain has
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been raising on cnn, for example, about whether there are things you could do to strengthen nato, to bring georgia into nato, possibly bringing ukraine into nato. i don't think we're there yet. but there are some things we can do. let's remember, though jim, that putin has some cards here to play as well. president obama very much wants to leave behind a legacy of reducing nuclear weapons. and so far he's been able to work with putin on that. that could go by the boards. president obama especially as you know so well wants and has gotten so far some indication of russian cooperation on dealing with the big big issue of iran. if that went by the boards as well, those are heavy heavy big cards to play. that's why i think what we're tending to is that putin may get away with getting the crimea under his own control. >> incredible. i want to keep you there, david. we have to go to a break. when we come back we want to talk about what we learned six years ago during another russian invasion. that one of georgia. how the u.s. reacted and what
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difference it made. we're going to come back to david gergen and the latest on the ukraine crisis right after this break. [ female announcer ] most of the time it's easy to know which option is better. other times, not so much. so it's good to know that mazola corn oil has 4 times more cholesterol blocking plant sterols than olive oil. and a recent study found that it can help lower cholesterol 2 times more. take care of those you love and cook deliciously. mazola makes it better. you're an emailing, texting, master of the digital universe. but do you protect yourself? ♪ apparently not. when you access everything, you give everyone access to everything about you. but that's ok. while you do your thing... [ alert rings ] we'll be here at lifelock, doing our thing. watching out for things your credit card alone can't. [ alert rings ] and relentlessly protecting your identity.
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welcome back. we're following breaking news on the situation in ukraine. and the u.s. and the western response. i'm still joined by david gergen, the harvard kennedy school now. we were discussing before the break, we faced a situation like this, the u.s. did, six years ago when the russian forces
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invaded georgia. president bush faced with that crisis at the time. his response, i was just running through some of the things he did. he sent ships to the region, suspended civilian nuclear agreement, suspended nato contacts, even sent aid to the capital of georgia and military aircraft. the obama administration we're told at this time not considering any military options. but even with all of those steps, russia stayed in georgia. they didn't back off. in fact russian troops are still there today. what can the obama administration do six years later in ukraine to get russia to pull back? >> reporter: as you know, jim, what happened in georgia six years ago in part was that the georgian leader, in order to put down a rebellion by a prorussian people, ethnic people, sent out forces to suppress them. and the russians used that as a pretext then to roll in to georgia with tanks and take over pieces of it. they still hold them today.
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and there's some fear that that could happen in the ukraine. and in talks earlier today with american officials, my understanding is that russian officials said we have reports that the the ukranian forces are moving into eastern ukraine, that they're moving toward the crimea. and we have to go in and protect our people. they're using that as a justification, in other words. in some ways that's a trap. and it's in president obama's interests not only to get the russians to deescalate but to ensure that kiev and the ukranian government, the new ukranian government, doesn't send in troops because that will give the russians pretty open justification as they had in georgia and the international community didn't do very much once the russians went in on that pretext. so we want to avoid that. what i'm also a little uncertain about, jim, you may know the answer to that, are the ukranian forces absolutely reliable? will they absolutely report to this government? or are there prorussian elements in those forces? i'm not really sure. >> well, it's a fair question.
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we'll ask our own reporters on the ground there. but we remember during those protests in kiev you had some police who in effect defected from one side to the other. in that case they went from the government side to the protesters' side. so those divisions very real among the security forces. that's a good point. something we'll watch for. thanks very much to david gergen joining us from the harvard kennedy school. we continue to follow breaking news out of ukraine. there are other big stories we're keeping an our eye on, including a deadly pileup in denver. more than 100 cars involved in that. you're seeing some of the pictures there now. we'll have more on that story right after this. comcast brought millions of people closer
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visit hepchope.com to find out about treatment options. and register for a personalized guide to help you prepare for a conversation with your doctor. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com we are keeping an eye on developments in ukraine, with but we are also following other big stories today. and rosa flores joins us to look at more of those. >> thank you, jim. at least 28 people were killed today when a moknife-wielding m attacked more than 100 people. they killed 28 and more than 100 injured. and the boy scouts say that their ban on lesbian and gay troop leaders will violate their conduct, and so that donations by disney will stop by 2014. disney has offered benefits to
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same sex partners for decades and allows same-sex marriages on disney world grounds. and now shock iing the basketball world, hear this, the shockers mauled missouri state 68-45 today, to become the first team in ten years to enter its ncaa tournament undefeated. they are 31-0 in the nak regular season play, and congratulations to wichita state. >> this is cnn breaking news. good ooef evening and hello the viewers in america and around the world. you are this the cnn newsroom and i'm in for don lemon today. this is breaking news on cnn. president obama is joining the effort to defuse a military crisis overseas that is escalating by the hour. this evening, the president spoke with russian president vladimir putin telling them they are breaking international law and violating the

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